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these self-inflicted wounds, many are changing the way electoral votes are tabulated. gop officials in pennsylvania, florida, michigan and ohio have considered abandoning the winner-take-all approach. the ramifications would be significant. if every electoral vote in the country were awarded by c congressional district, mitt romney would have won the electoral college 276 to 262. if fl n, michigan,ohio, pennsylvania, wisconsin and virginia adopted the new system, obama's sizable margin would have been reduced by just 4. luckily, republican leaders are throwing cold water on those efforts. and i think they're doing their party a favor. it's crazy to tinker with the electoral college system while losing winnable senate seats to the fringe factor. and fixing that dynamic should be the m r party's priority.
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instead, mcconnell might turn out who was dpeemed unak septemberble by a relatively small but passionate cadre of voters. or fighting for a system of more open primaries. that's "hardball" for now. thank you for being with us. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, michael. and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, a moment of courage. today, former representative gabby giffords opened the first congressional hearing on gun violence since the horrible shootings at sandyhook elementary. ms. gifford spoke with the experience as a survivor of an asas sane's bullet.
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>> violence is a big problem. too many children are dying. too many children. we must do something. the time is now. you must act. be bold. be courageous. americans are counting on you. >> be bold. be courageous. more than a month has passed since twenty-first graders were gunned down at sandyhook. and the violence is continuing daily. this morning, while the hearing was under way, three people were shot and wounded at an office complex in arizona. reports there has been more than 1400 shootings. 1400 shooting deaths since the
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massacre at sandyhook elementary school. that tally doesn't include the heart wrenching story of the high school honor student and band member from chicago who performed at some of president obama's inug ral festivities just last week. 15 years old. she had her whole life in front of her. but, yesterday, she was sholt in the back while sitting in a park. near her school in the middle of the afternoon. an innocent victim of the gun crisis in this country. especially the crisis in chicago. this has to change. but the opponents of gun sanity refuse to get it. at today's hearing, the head of the nra actually argued we don't need any new gun laws. >> proposing more gun laws while failing to enforce the thousands we already have? it's not a serious solution for reducing crime. >> not a serious solution to reducing crime.
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we've heard enough from the nra. it's time they follow some simple advice from her own statement today. be bold. be courageous. we've heard enough and we've seen enough. the time is now. joining me now is lorie hauss, whose daughter, emily, survived being shot in the virginia tech massacre in 2007 and clarence page. >> lorie, let me start with you. you were at the hearing today. don't our elected leaders need to show the courage gabby showed today? >> absolutely, reverend sharpton. thanks for having me on the show. >> thank you for coming. >> frankly, we need leadership from all of our rep zen tifrs. and, you know, we demand courage from them.
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but, frankly, you know, it shouldn't take much courage to stand up to the nra. courage is, you know, facing down the barrel of a gun. and, you know, my daughter did that. and there were 16 other injured students at virginia tech who did that. and who stand with us in this area. you know, in my opinion, the nra should not even be at the table. i don't see reports from them. i don't see studies from them. i don't see activities from them. i don't see policies from them. that contribute to the public safety debate. i listen to law enforcement on this issue. and they are clearly leading the charge to get background checks on all gun buyers and policies that would save lives and keep our neighborhood safe. everyone deserves to live gun violence-free. >> now, clarence, you've been covering stories for a while. the fact that gabby giffords
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came out herself showing that courage and dramatically appealed to the senate, here's a former congresswoman that by the grace of god, survived with a point-blank attack, will that have impact in your judgment with the senate? and will that help sway public pressure more to deal with some kind of gun sanity in this country? >> well, reverend, i'm looking for signs of hope. and, yes, i do see some hope in the fact that gabby giffords is still out there, still pushing this cause and that she's not alone. there's a new momentum behind this movement and behind some kind of action for gun reform. and that still seems to be alive. the fact that wayne lapierre was at the table and had not budged in his position which is much more of an adamant position he
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had back in the ''90s when they supported the background checks. i think considering the pe kul yar etiquette, they see the handwriting on the wall. and now that's going to be background checks and otheri i h issues are going to be a bargaining chip. i think nra wants to try to push it back as hard as they can. >> no, i mean, it's almost unthinkable that they would find objection to background checks. lorie, you were at the hearing. and lapierre's position even raised senator durbin up. let me play the exchange because you were there. let me play the exchange to get your reaction. >> my problem with background checks is you're never going to get criminals to go through universal background checks. >> mr. lapierre, that's the point. the criminals aren't going to purchase the guns because there will be a backseat ground check.
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you missed that point completely. >> i mean, does the nra think we shouldn't have a law just because criminals would try to break the law? i mean, the fact is almost everybody believes that we should do. including nra members. 92%, lorie, of americans support background checks. 74% of the nra members support it. i mean, as you sat there listening to this today,i mean, as one who has a daughter that survived, how did you feel? >> i found mr. lapierre's arguments and reasoning disingenuous. in my situation, my daughter was shot twice in the back of the head, chose mental health adjudication records were not in the system. we have to do a better job. we know. and law enforcement will tell you. background check is what they want.
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they want to stop the criminals from getting the guns. in my home state of virginia, we know that background checks work. in gun shows, state police arrest numerous individuals. they do work. and they can stop criminals and dangerous people from getting weapons. i find it very, very telling that the commentary as always, you're targeting law-abiding sit zeps. no, we're not. we're targeting criminals, domestic abusers, terrorists. we want to stop those individuals from getting a firearm and harming our neighbors, our friends, our communities. we need to do a background check on all buyers, on all gun sales. >> and that seems pretty simple. but clarence, every time i think i haeshd it all, i hear something else. during the hearing, graham said that state budget cuts -- i'm trying to say this as calmly as
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i can because this is that unbelievable. state budget cuts were another reason to say no to gun laws. listen to this logic. >> because of the fiscal state of affairs we have, there will be less police officers, not more over the next decade. response times are going to be less, not more. there can be a situation where a mother runs out of bullets because of something we do here. >> so let me get this right. republicans cut budgets for police. and their solution is more guns to private citizens taking the law into their own hands? >> right. well, again, id eve been covering this issue for so long, that i actually find some hope in that grasping at straws there. that's what that sounds like. when you talk about gun control issues, the longer you talk, the more these hypotheticals you hear. let's face it. the public makes decisions for
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how much they want to spend for police. we're not talking about taking guns away. we're not talking about taking bullets away. so to go out on these extremes, the side that is trying to prevent any kind of new legislation is losing. >> lorie, i'm running out of time. but you talked about your daughter very passionately here tonight. there was a 15-year-old honor student in chicago shot and killed. she was one of those that was in the festivities just last week at the president's inauguration. i want to play to you the statement her mother and father made because you are among the few that could really understand a mother's pain. thank god your daughter lived. listen to these parents. >> i'm not worried about where she's going. i know who has her. i just miss her.
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my heart, there's a whole section in my heart that's gone. >> get the guns out of the hands of the people that don't need to have them. >> i mean, do you think you on the hill today, do you think that our elected leaders understand? we're talking about people's children. we're talking about real life. these are not parts that we're just moving arnold some chess board. is this is for real. these are people's kids. >> i certainly hope that our elected leaders understand that and will listen to, you know, mothers like the voice you just played and to gabby giffords. i sat in the audience with survivors of gun violence. you know, i talked on the phone with the mothers of virginia tech students who were killedment i've been to new town. i've been to aurora. i've been to oak creek. these are children. these are somebody's child, somebody's mother, somebody's cousin, aunt, brother.
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you know, these are happening to real people. they're not just numbers. and when you sit and talk to these survivors, they all want the same thing. they want to prevent gun violence from visiting their pain, their horror, their sorrow on another family. we can do a better job and we have to protect americans, children, teachers, you know, people in every walk of life deserve to live in a gun violence-free neighborhood. >> and clarence, chicago has had over 500 shooting deaths last year. 40 this year. and some of the strictest gun laws in the country. but the rate of gun violence is still high. but the problem is, this is why we need national legislation. the new york times reports that in the last year alone, chicago police have traced illegal guns back to illinois, indiana, wisconsin, kentucky, mississippi, georgia, iowa, so
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it doesn matter that the local laws are strict. these guns are coming in from other places. 20% come from a single gun shop in illinois outside the city limits. 20%. >> that's right. chicashchicago does have tough laws. but people can just go out to the suburbs or go right to the next state. we do need national gun laws. that's part of the debate. we're not even close to yet. we talk abjust keeping guns out of the hands of the people who shouldn't have them. even gun owners agree that background checks make sense. i think it's cases like this, she's 41st,just this month alone. that grabs people enough that we can perhaps get some movement on this issue. >> thank you both for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> coming up.
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they call him a king. a dictator. a socialist. no, he's just more popular than they are. new numbers tonight may surprise you. plus, senator mckowski is here live on the fight for women's rights. it's called paycheck fairness. and who will take on bill o'reilly's id laws? colin powell will. >> if asking for an id is trying to restriblgt the vote, i mean, i'm sorry. you should be able to prove who ur before you cast a ballot. >> no, you should be able to prove who you are when you register to vote. >> i have more to say on mr. o'reilly. more show to come. keep it here. look what mommy is having.
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my journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, our daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. >> women's rights. equal pay for equal work. it's a key part of the president's agenda. and it's also a personal issue for him. he often talked about making sure his daughters have the same rights and the same opportunities as any boy growing up in america. but, right now, that's not possible. because if you're a woman, you make less than a man doing the exact same job. in fact, for every dollar a man makes, a woman will earn only 77 cents. this holds true inner inial nea career fields. whether you're a c.e.o., a teacher, a police officer or a janitor. it's unfair. but senate democrats are working again to change that law. they're introducing the paycheck fairness act.
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a bill to help women fight for equality. >> no woman in america today will understand why. anyone would filibuster such a bill. >> we want to finish the job. we want to finish the job that starting 50 years ago. well, 50 years later, we are sill being redlined, sidelined, pink slipped because we fight for equal pay for equal work. >> equal pay for equal work. women's rights. republicans have been fighting against that. but it's time for a change. joining me now are senator barbara from maryland and senator barbara boxer from california. thank you both for your time. >> hi, al. >> senator, republicans have blocked the paycheck fairness act before. can they be moved this time? >> absolutely. we have the momentum of the
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american women behind us. and guess what, we have, now, 20 women in the united states senate, 16 democrats. we know we support it. we hope our republican colleagues do and there are good men like our president right here in the senate that will. and we're going to make our case that this is -- if we can pass paycheck fairness which will deal with the two major issues, number one, when a woman asks either the guy next to her or her personnel director what her pay is and the guy making it, she can be harassed, she can be punished, she can even be fired. we want to stop that. and second, there's a loophole where they make up that because you're a woman, gender, that they can pay a guy more. but usually, we find those are phony reasons. >> now, senator boxer, this
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affects, literally, millions of people. this is not a marginal issue at all. when you look at the fact that -- look at families. 12 million families with children rely primarily on women's earnings. 6.3 million families are headed by working single mothers. i was raised by single mothers. so when they only get three quarters, a little over three quarters of a dollar and they're the only earner, it is not only unfair and it impacts them, it impacts families. >> without a doubt. and reverend, if you take that difference, 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man and you program it out, it's over 400 0 $400,,000. imagine the difference it would make to a family? i would argue this impacts almost every family in america. because today, whether it's a single mom raising or a dual household, the fact is, most
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women work today. whether they're supporting their family on their own, supporting themselves, sometimes they're supporting a sick mom, a sister, the fact is married or not, this impacts the family. it is so wrong. and when we pass the lily led better law, which, again, senator mikulski, our dean, pushed forward, that was the first bill that president obama signed. and what it said was you cannot set an artificial timeline from when a woman could sue when she finds out there's been discrimination because of the lily led better law, she can then go to court and have her day in court. but, still, it didn't reach to this issue. can you imagine if there was a law, barbara, where man senators earned more than women senators? that would be ridiculous. we have the same job. we get paid the same thing.
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this is an example of what's happening. we have examples all over the country where women have the same exact resume as a husband, i have a specific case, and she wound up getting 5,0$5,000 less from the get go. >> that's an interesting senator boxer. so if you would make that argument to republican senators, it would be interesting their response. if they would have a situation where they would get paid more in the senate male to female. very interesting way you put that. it would be hard pressed for them to be able to defend that. >> but you know, your whole point on the family is exactly what will be our main argument. that we want to change the law books so we can change the family checkbook. essentially, we're going to pay women for the work that they do and the work that they should be paid. when that goes into the family checkbook, it will go right in to the economy which we need right now.
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to buy shoes, to buy food, to do all the things that occur in the real economy. so we think it's great social policy, but we think it's an economic mandate. >> and senator boxer, that is a fact because with $10,000 less a year, then they earned with men, women could buy, if they had that money, 92 weeks of groceries or 13 months of rent or 39 months of family health insurance premium. i mean, we're talking food, housing, health care. this isn't just a little extra money. this is vital, especially for single moms. >> it is so critical. and it is, you know, what happens is we have a consumer-driven economy. about 70% of our economy depends on the consumer going out and spending. so when senator mikulski describes this, she's exactly right. an when you take it to a further level, it's critical.
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it's critical for the family. it's critical for retirement. it's critical for the economy. so all of this means we're going to have a real strong push. and i think this year, maybe we'll get it done. >> we're suited up. we've got our lipstick on and we're ready to go. >> now, while you're suited up, let me bring this to another little battle. the barbara bowl. you have a friendly bet on the super bowl between your teams, san francisco 49ers, senator boxer and you have your jersey on, and the baltimore ravens, senator mikulski. the states are napa valley wine and cheese and or maryland beer and crab cakes. now, when we asked our facebook fans about the outcome, and i'm sorry, senator mikulski, 67% say the 49ers have it in the bag. >> that's not fair, al. they've got 38 million people that can call into you.
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i've got 5.5 million. you do that call-in kind of stuff, i'm at a disadvantage. but my advantage is not only i have ray lewis, i have ray rice and i have the momentum behind this. >> wait a minute. time out here. here's the deal. you know this is a real family feud. we've got the two coaches are brothers. and here you have two sisters of the senate. >> two barbara sisters. >> we're two sisters over here. we agree on 95% of the issues. now we are torn. i've got to tell you something. the ravens are wonderful, but they are going to fly away because we're going to win. that's just the way it is. >> the 49ers are going to come up like they did in the past. they're looking to pan for gold and they're going to come up empty. >> well, no matter who wins sunday, i hope you win this battle in the senate. senator boxer and senator mikulski, thank you both for your time. >> forward together. >> absolutely.
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>> and good luck to both of you on your teams this weekend. but team back up and keep fighting in the senate. thank you both. >> we will. >> up next, the president surging ahead and some new polls show it. it's time for republicans to get on board. or get out of the way. i gave birth to my daughter on may 18th,
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68% of moderates have a favorable view of him. 60% of independents agree. and even 34% of conservatives say they do. so president obama has the american people behind him. what does that mean for his big second term agenagenda? let's bring in bob strum and cynthia tucker. bob, i'm going to you first. he's at 60%. what will the republicans come up with now? >> well, there's a fundament fall political realignment underway in this country. and wliel obama realigns, the republicans are in decline. and they really have three choices. one of which they've seenl to have already gotten rid of. secondly, they can destabilize the economy. that's what they tried to do for years moving up toward the 2012 election.
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it didn't work. but i think they might try it again. paul ryan on meet the press last sunday sounded very interesting in letting the sequestration go into effect, which we saw today would have bad effects on the economy. third, in lincoln's phase, they could disenthrall themselves. but when you look at what happened to marco rubio in the last day, senator david vitter of louisiana called him amazingly naive. i think the republican party is trapped between what it has to do to succeed and survive and its tea party elements which are going to ghand purity. >> now when you look at cynthia, the fact that american people say clearly that any number opposed support the president's agenda, 53% support same-sex marriage, 62% support a path to citizenship for immigrants. 80% say climate change is a serious threat.
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58% want to see further gun violence-free safety legislation. it seems like the republicans are painting themselves into a corner and if they go into this sequester fight, it's only going to get worse. >> that's absolutely right. they are painting themselves into a corner. and let me just say that a lot of the reason that president obama's favorability ratings have improved is not just that the american people support his -- the policies that he supports, but it's also true that the president is exerting comforts leadership. and that is also what americans want. they wanted to see a president who was confident in his policies and would stand there and stand his ground. and that's what he's doing. and americans are more than willing to follow. what are republicans going to do in response? they're in sheer and utter disarray. there's a ziccivil war going on
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the party. there are a handful of leading republicans like marco rubio who know that the old ways are not leading anywhere but toward defeat. unfortunately, many of them are still trapped in the old ways and that's partly because these are the believes that they had adhered to for 30, 40, 50 years. if you've spent decades being hostile toward or unfriendly toward people of color, it's hard to turn around in a few weeks and say oh, wait. we've changed our minds about that. fox news, eric ericson and others among the hard core saying wait a minute, not so fast. >> but, barb, let's go where the rubber meets the road. the president is re-elected. what can he get done for the american people? what can he achieve using this
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momentu momentum? because at if ethe end of the d he's going to be fine. >> the republicans have backed down on the fiscal cliff and i think they're going to staybacked down on that. the president is going to have to push very hard on sequestration. they don't want it to go into effect. i also any there's a real chance to get immigration reform here. now, look, marco rubio, and it doesn't help that zicynthia and prison him. it will be very interesting to see whether he stands his ground here or begins to back um, back up, back up. i also think there's some encouraging signs on the whole issue of guns. you have kwon servetive senators negotiating with their progressive counter parts for some kind of universal background check. i think that might get through despite the fact that the nra is going to, actually, i think
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every time wane lapierre opens his mouth, he helps the cause of gun control. >> the president, just as ste steadfast on his agenda items and holds the line given the popularity he has and does not in any way, shape or form budge on key things like the guns as well as imdwramigration and vot rights. it puts the senate in position to try to get the republicans move over, that have other ambitions or that have faced states where they can't assume that there's enough tea partiers to take them out? >> absolutely. i think that for the most part, unforch unfortunately, as a southerner, i say unfortunately because i think that the southern republicans are going to continue to hold their ground to be stubborn, to want a country that is stuck in the 1950s or to
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go back to the 1950s. but i think there will be many northeastern republicans, many midwestern republicans. and younger folk who do want -- who are ambitious, who want to win national office, perhaps, and see the direction they have to go in. and that is toward the sort of policies the president supports. let me say, though, that i think the president is going to have to stay out there. he's going to have to keep explaining why these things are important. >> all right, i'm going to have to leave it there. thank you both for being here tonight. >> thank you, reverend. >> good to be here. >> coming up. for the first time ever, we'll have two black senators serving at the same time. how did it happen? that's next. and colin powell's epic take down on voter id. don't miss that. it's coming up. [ male announcer ] where do you turn for legal matters?
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after 28 years, john kerry bid good-bye to the united states senate today in an emotional lookback on his career. he talked about the importance of listening, not just to his
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fellow senators, but to the people they represent. . >> i came to the national mall, 1971 with fellow veterans who wanted to talk to our leaders about the war. president nixon tried to kick us off the mall. but we knocked on door after door of capitol hill and too often couldn't get an audience. a precious few, including ted kennedy and hubert humphery came to where we were camped out. i saw firsthand that our political process works only when leaders are willing to listen. >> he left the floor to a standing ovation capping off nearly three decades of public service. and it set off a mad political scramble to his senate seat.
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today, massachusetts governor picked boston lawyer as an interim replacement. >> so who is mr. callan? and is scott brown gearing up for a comeback? >> joining me now is susan mil ler ligan and contributor to the last lion, the biography of the late senator ted kennedy. thank you both for coming on the show tonight. >> i was pretty moved by it. i never thought that i would see john kerry, of all people, almost break down in tears to the point where he had to drink a glass of water and it was
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genuine because he loves the institution of the senate and i think he's quite pained over how the institution has changed and still hopeful to be what it used to be where members had genuine friendships across the aisle. he loved the senate. i was very touched by his speech, actually. >> i was a little surprised. i've gotten to know him well after the 2004 election. and to see them emotional like that is rare. but he also addressed the gridlock in the senate, susan. look at this. >> we can't ignore the fact that today, treaties that only a few years ago would have passed 100 to nothing don't pass at all. people who want to vote for something that they believe in actually don't do so. for fear retrobugs. if the senate gimmicks over common ground, the risk is not
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that we will fail to move forward, it is that we will fall behind. >> very, very true. and he uses his emotion to drive like a wampbi inwarning and a m his colleagues. >> rook, senator kerry was there at a time when we genuinely did have friendships across the island. he pointed us something very important where people think the rules need to be changed. the rules have always been there. people didn't abuse him before. the problem now is that you don't have people coming in with more extreme views. it's that they come in with an idea that they don't have to get in. they shouldn't have to compromise. the thing that made ted kennedy such a great senator is that he understood as big and as important as he was, the institution of the senate was going to be long around after he was gone. kerry has that attitude as well. it's not so common anymore in
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the senate, i'm afraid. >> you have to have leaders that understand it's more than about them. jamal, talking about leaders, we have a new one now in the appointee of william moe callan. chosen by governor patrick. most people surprised. he's former chief of staff to governor patrick. first time in history now we have two african american senators who will serve at the same time. callan now becomes the ailgt black senator in u.s. history. in fact, it was a republican that was elected first since reconstruction in massachusetts, ed brook. tell us about krarks allan. you know him? >> i do. and he's a relly good man. he's a family man from north carolina, went to duke, went to law school up in massachusetts. and he has served governor
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patrick. it's a real strong testament that he chose to go. a lot of people are just appointed that barney frank didn't get the appointment. >> he wanted it. he came out publically. and it was a testament that he wouldn't get push into apointing someone. and i think it's a profound statement. i expect do see moe cowan be a champion for justice and opportunity. >> snou, hee eel be there until june. he says he's not running. tim scott will probably run. an african american was in a position to take a lot of shots as the president. does cowan count a balance? >> he does. and i think he gives african americans and all americans, truthly.
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they're looking to have a voice for them in the senate. give them an opportunity to have a couple different choices. let's see if maybe they can find a couple things to work on it together. it would be great. he showed this in the previous segment. it would be great if over the next six months, that those two senators would keep people from having to stand in line for hours and hours just to cast the vote. that would be one thing, i think, they ought to be able to find some common ground on. >> susan, let me ask about scott brown. you know the state well. we are reading reports that he's leaning strongly toward running for kerry's seat. ef b though many say if he waited to run for governor in two years, it would be easier. it would be an easier race. but he's leading the run for kerry's seat, especially given the competition. take a listen. >> victory and defeet is only temporary.
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>> so, susan, he's taking shots at mr. marquee. he's the likely democrat that he'll face that's running for senate? >> i know that senator brown made comments about how mr. marquee's wife works down here. that's going to be a tough one on the trail. i'm not sure if it's a big plus if you're going back to massachusetts all of the time. what's so important is to develop relationships down here, to get things down. i think markey is a pretty formidable candidate. and, in some ways, he's a much stronger candidate than elizabeth warren was. she's a terrific mind and a terrific senator. massachusetts is not a very hospitable place for female
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candidates. she is sort of portrayed as a school elitist and she still won. so i think that it would be form midble. the problem for brown is if he runs and luszs, he's done for politics. so he's got to decide. if he ran against markey who we asumt will get the nomination and lost, then i don't see how he gets governor. >> i'm going to have to leave it there. thank you both for your time thef ening. >> thank you. pleasure to be here. >> colin powell versus bill o'reilly. that's next. i was in the ambulance
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and i was told to call my next of kin. at 33 years old, i was having a heart attack. now i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. i didn't know this could happen so young. take control, talk to your doctor. i didn't know this could happen so young. did you just turn your ringer off so no one would interrupt oh no, i... just used my geico app to get a tow truck. it's gonna be 30 minutes. oh, so that means that we won't be stuck up here, for hours, with nothing to do. oh i get it, you wanna pass the time, huh. (holds up phone) fruit ninja!!!
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emergency roadside assistance. just a click away with the geico mobile app. campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, and over again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque.
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see what's new from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. executor of efficiency. you can spot an amateur from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. now this...will work. [ male announcer ] just like you, business pro. just like you. go national. go like a pro. colin powell took bill o'reilly to school last night. did you catch it? >> i think one of the terrible things is that when we had a number of states going out of their way claiming there was an out rit

Politics Nation
MSNBC January 30, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the day's important political and human interest stories. New.

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